Lifting Samoan Tourism – 11. Wisdom

rainbowIn previous posts I have shared thoughts on how to be realistic about Samoa’s Tourism troubles (the perceived crisis is actually just ‘situation normal’ here); the role of leadership (essentially politicians and bureaucrats are not business people); how to think strategically (a real mission for Samoans who have had a highly ordered life for generations); three practical steps for tourism operators to help themselves (develop niche markets, create strong productisation and work collaboratively) and the importance of applying creativity (again a mission for people who in the main only do anything if they have to, and pretty much leave their thinking to their leaders), but I cautioned that meaningful change is unlikely here due to leadership and cultural issues (best summarised by the somewhat obnoxious but accurate phrase ‘proud people’).

In this post I finish my commentary on Samoan Tourism by detailing the key to getting it right when moving forward, that of plugging into what I believe is God’s primary strategic purpose for Samoa, sacrificial giving in faith. If we get this right, then we will be acting with wisdom. It’s a hard message (to both elicidate and probably to receive). [Read more…]

Lifting Samoan Tourism – 4. Creativity

party-timeIn previous posts I have shared that claims of a crisis in the Samoan Tourism industry do not stand up to scrutiny. Sure the industry is struggling, but this is status quo. I’ve identified people issues to be more important to its health than external factors such as tourism-adverse events and economics. I talked about leadership issues within government and the STA; then advised on the three simple things that Samoan tourism operators should be doing to lift themselves independently of the authorities – undertaking deliberate niche marketing, ensuring strong productisation of their businesses and commencing collaboration, specifically in their marketing efforts.

In this post I get creative, sharing the impact of thinking outside the square, how to turn problems into opportunities and to achieve miracles with inversion techniques. [Read more…]

Lifting Samoan Tourism – 3. Three basics

Lupe Sina Treesort. A new tourism development

Lupe Sina Treesort. A new tourism development

Some claim that Samoa Tourism is in crisis. I say it’s not, rather a struggling industry is just the way things work here in Samoa with inefficient leadership, unrealistic expectations and inability to think strategically. I’ve suggested that it’s far better than to make a small bad business better than to make it bigger. In this post I share more about the three key teachings of the SWAP Foundation, the importance of niche marketing, productisation and collaboration.

[Read more…]

Lifting Samoan Tourism – 2. Vision

sun-airlineIn previous posts I have explained that the crisis in Samoan Tourism was predictable and that ineffective responses to external challenges have more to do with government and industry issues than those of global market conditions or tourism-adverse events. I explained that in order to affect meaningful change, the current leadership would need to eat humble pie and get real. In this post I share the challenges of vision setting – what Samoa needs to do and has failed to do, and why it is so hard for her to do it. [Read more…]

Lifting Samoan Tourism – 1. Leadership

sunset-savaiiSome have claimed that Samoa Tourism is in crisis with the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), the Samoan Hotels Association (SHA), the industry and a range of external factors all copping the blame. I’ve noted in the previous post that as the word ‘crisis’ implies a sudden change or something out of the ordinary then Samoa Tourism is not in a crisis, rather that this is situation normal – perfectly predictable and a natural consequence of ‘ostrich behaviour’, small thinking and self-centricity. The obvious major business stresses in the industry at the moment are caused through inefficient leadership, unrealistic expectations and social/cultural practices that are not conducive to good business practice unable to respond positively when adversity has struck.

Having identified where the real problems lie – with people issues, not so much external factors – I share here the broad principle that should be applied to ‘fixing’ the so-called crisis – humbling ourselves and (as they say here) ‘coming down’ – especially the industry leaders. [Read more…]

The Samoa Tourism Crisis

STA-glossyI’ve been prompted by some to comment on the media reports of a crisis in Samoan Tourism. My comments, advice and predictions follow. In summary, the situation is not as simple as some would like to think. There is no “crisis” as the Samoan tourism industry is and always has been a small struggling one overseen by inefficient leadership, and with business operators struggling with large debts, unrealistic expectations and lack of vision in a proud, highly political third world country.

[Read more…]